How I shoot and process web pictures




Equipment Praktica MTL3 All my photo equipment is rather basic and oldfashioned stuff. The camera body is the Praktica MTL3, a single lens reflex camera for 35 mm films, no electronics aboard! The picture left is taken with the digital Samsung below. The matching lenses, screw mount P-thread types, have foci of 28, 50, 135 and 400 mm. I sometimes use a 2x tele-converter to upgrade the 400 to a 800 mm lens, but never for radio pics. I also use a close-up lens, or a "bellows" device if the object is very small. This allows me to shoot a needles eye full screen.
All the equipment was gathered on flea markets and in the occasion-corner of the photoshop. I believe simple stuff like this is sufficient for the purpose, no need for very expensive lenses and bodies. During vacations I carry a simple compact-camera in my shirt pocket

Procedure When I shoot radio-pictures, I nearly always use the 135 lens because this gives lesser distortion in perspective than the more standard 50 mm lens. The camera is on the tripod, adjustable to every height and position, and it is operated by a cable-trigger. The object to be photographed is on a table, in front of a white sheet. The table is preferably outside, because of the better light conditions. A bit cloudy weather is ideal, because too much direct sun light gives nasty hard shades. If possible, the radios dial illumination is on, also the magic eye.

I tried indoor photography some times, using a 1000W halogen lamp. This generally gave hard shades and a reddish color impression.

The film I use is always ASA200, I don't care what brand. Exposure time is1/60, 1/125 or 1/250 seconds, also depending on the diaphragm adjustment and the amount of light. With very dark objects I sometimes use an additional flash. I could use some coloured filters on the lenses but I never tried that. Developing and printing is done by the nearest photo-shop, I always order for glossy 10x15 cm prints.

Computer processing I use a HP 4100C USB-scanner. The scans are processed in Paint Shop Pro 4.12 or Adobe Photoshop 4.0. I prefer PSP because of the simple interface. Standard procedures are adjusting of brightness and contrast, the sharpen (or sharpen more) filter, cropping, resizing and finally save as a transparent GIF. Sometimes the background color has to be replaced manually.

Not every picture on this website meets my present standards, but things are improving. I learned a bit about composition, lighting and perspective. Besides, the PC is indispensible when it comes to adjusting your pictures! To avoid irritation with the visitors of this site, I am changing to smaller but clickable images, giving a bigger image on demand.

Samsung SDC-33
I also have a digital camera, the Samsung SDC-33 (on the left). The picture was taken from a Dutch resellers website. Its results are not very satisfying, so I stick to the chemical pictures provisionally. It has no display for the pictures itself.